Published On: Thu, Oct 24th, 2019

North Korea news: Kim Jong-un ‘expecting child’ as wife disappears from public life | World | News

A shroud of secrecy surrounds the hermit state’s ruling dynasty but Kim and Ri understood to have three children – though their existence has never been acknowledged by Pyongyang. Speculation is now growing that the dictator is hoping the couple’s fourth child will be their first son and a possible future supreme leader.

Markus Bell, a North Korea expert based in Myanmar, told The Sun: “The secrecy surrounding reports of Ri’s pregnancy is nothing surprising for North Korea.

“The default mode for North Korea is poker-faced silence.

“One thing’s for sure, Kim and Ri will be keeping their fingers crossed for a boy this time – a future supreme leader to hand over the reins to in years to come.”

Kim himself did not emerge into the public eye until 2010, when he was thought to be 27-years-old.

But he has since carved a reputation as a ruthless despot who has ordered the execution of family members to maintain his position as supreme leader.

Little has been confirmed about Kim’s private life but South Korean intelligence sources believe he married Ri in 2009, as he was preparing himself for rule, and could have up to three children aged between one and eight years old.

READ MORE: Kim Jong-Un accused of hiding deadly swine fever 

US basketball player Dennis Rodman, who struck up an unlikely friendship with Kim around 2013, claims to have held one of Kim’s children – a daughter named Ju-ae.

Nothing is known about the genders of the other two children, and it is not clear if Kim has a male heir.

Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, appears to have been filling in for Ri on official engagements since she was last seen in public during a visit by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in June.

She was among those accompanying Kim on his recent horseback ride at Mount Paektu.

The remarks add to recent comments from Pyongyang expressing discontent at the lack of progress in its negotiations with Washington.

This month North Korea issued a veiled threat about ending the freeze in long-range missile testing amid continued economic sanctions and pressure aimed at pushing it to give up its nuclear and ballistic missiles programmes.

Kim Hyong Ryong, North Korea’s Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, said at the Xiangshan Forum in Beijing that North Korea has worked to build lasting piece but that the situation has relapsed into a “dangerous, vicious cycle” of exacerbating tensions because of the actions of the US and South Korean governments.

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